Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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MN DNR Veterans Benefits

I have no witty or cheesy introduction to this week’s article. The benefits I will discuss will not apply to all Veterans. However, if I reach or assist a single Veteran or family member each day, then I feel a sense of accomplishment as a CVSO. As I have mentioned before, my goal is to interact with and identify each Lake County Veteran. One of those Veterans, along with his wife and son, reminded me of these benefits that might not be well known. Thank you for reading D, S, and M.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Re­sources (MN DNR) has A $35 year-round ve­hicle permit provides unlimited visits to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. Min­nesota Veterans with a service-connected dis­ability, and Purple Heart recipients are eligible for a free year-round vehicle permit. You can apply at any staffed Minnesota state park office. You may also leave a voicemail for the permit fulfillment center at 218-595-7118; be sure to mention “military discount” in your message. You will need one of the following documents to prove eligibility: Current military orders, plus military ID; Federal government Access Pass to federal recreational sites, plus military ID; a copy of your determination letter or Veterans Af­fairs Healthcare ID indicating a service-connect­ed disability, plus a photo ID.

Minnesota Veterans with a 100% total and permanent service-connected disability rating (summary of benefits letter must indicate 100% for combined rating) are eligible to receive a per­manent angling license (not required to purchase trout stamp), a Veteran permanent license card good for one deer and/or small game license each year (not required to purchase state waterfowl or pheasant stamp, but federal duck stamp required), and first preference for bear and special deer hunt lotteries. Separate applications must be submit­ted to receive your permanent angling license and permanent license card (hunting).

The MN DNR Licensing Center may be reached at 877-348-0498. Your CVSO may only assist with the applications and has nothing to do with processing or granting licenses.

A gentle reminder about being prepared. Please do not wait until you have an urgent need to start looking for your DD-214 or submitting a claim for benefits. Federal requests take time, and your CVSO only has so much sway with the feder­al government. Locate your documents, have a certified copy created with your county Vital Re­cords office, and start planning.

Brad Anderson is the Lake County Veterans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.834.8326, or cvso@co.lake.mn.us  

Karen Christianson is the Cook County Veterans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.387.3639, or karen.christianson@co.cook.mn.us

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